Sunday, 6 August 2017

The Parking Lot – April 2014

by Debra Kiva


I remember that Tuesday
in April.
I watched as the agitation of
the unfamiliar
place
began to swallow you.
You fidgeted, eyes darted about
saying over and over
"I want to go home."
The four of us sitting on slate blue
metal chairs, awaiting
lunch at the outdoor cafe
by the sea
on the other side
of the world.
I took you from the table.
It was only day two of our visit.
You didn't know who I was but
you were sweet.
It was as if the harshness that
possessed you for
all those years
had disappeared
and you enjoyed the
tenderness of my
attention.
I said, I'd take you back to the car.
As we walked I told you that
“Sometimes, I want to
go home too.”
You asked if I knew your kids. 
I said, yes because I am one
of them.
You questioned, do you know the other
two?
I answered, I did, I knew them well, my whole life
because I am your
youngest.
You said, there is one I have not
seen in a long time. And your face
showed immeasurable sorrow.
I said I miss him too.

And that's when
you fell
into my arms
that afternoon
in the hot Australian sun.
It had been over a year
since he passed -
your beautiful son from
a disease similar to the
one that will soon
claim you.
That day, I held your
tiny, frail body up
and for the first time
since his death
you cried.


* * * * *

Debra Kiva has been writing poetry as means to process challenging situations for over 25 years. She is co-director of Gold Country Threshold Choir which provides comfort and compassion through song to those on the threshold of life. She currently lives in the Sierra Foothills with her husband and black lab.